To ensure timely containment of COVID-19 cases in the capital, 20,000 rRT-PCR tests will be performed in the next five days on a war-footing at areas under surveillance and for patients admitted at designated Delhi government hospitals and quarantine centres.
The city also reported 51 fresh cases, taking the total cases to 1,561. The death toll touched 30 with two more casualties being reported. Of the new cases, 23 are under investigation, 19 have a travel history/local transmission and nine are under the ‘special operations’ category — those who attended an event at Nizammudin Markaz.
According to a senior government official, eight authorised private labs across the 11 districts will step in to take the load off over-burdened labs in government hospitals. “The next five days are extremely crucial for the entire country. The eight designated labs have a capacity of testing 2,000 samples a day, which will be a huge support and improve pendency of cases. The rates have been decided on the basis of samples and testing kits; every lab and hospital will follow the same.”
The eight labs are Dr Lal PathLabs for North, Northeast and Northwest districts; Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Clinical Lab Services in the Central district; Oncquest Lab for New Delhi district; Dr Dangs Lab for South district; Laboratory Services Indraprastha Apollo Hospital for Southeast; Max Lab, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, for East and Shahdara; Prognosis Laboratories for Southwest; and City X-Ray & Scan Clinic Pvt. Ltd. for West district.
If samples collected is more than the combined capacity of government labs, samples from COVID-19 designated Delhi government hospitals/quarantine centres shall be sent to private labs as per their allocated designated areas/regions.
If samples are taken at a private lab and it also provides the testing kits, then the amount payable would be Rs 4,500. Similarly, if samples are taken at a government hospital and kits are also provided by the hospital, then the charges have been fixed at Rs 2,200. However, if samples are taken at a government hospital and the kits are provided by the private lab, then the amount would be Rs 3,500.
As per new guidelines from the Union Ministry of Health for hotspots/clusters and in large migration gatherings/evacuees centres, all those symptomatic for influenza-like illness (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose) should go for rRT-PCR within seven days of illness and an antibody test (if negative, confirmed by rRT-PCR) after seven days of illness.
Meanwhile, two women doctors from RML Hospital have tested positive, the administration said Tuesday. A resident doctor at Lady Hardinge Medical College also tested positive.
A spokesperson for RML hospital said contact tracing is underway and 50 staff members have been quarantined. “We don’t know how the doctors contracted the infection,” said the spokesperson. A total of 54 healthcare workers have tested positive.
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